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Herbalife delays annual meeting for Icahn talks

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Herbalife Ltd. said Thursday that it has pushed back the date of its annual shareholder meeting by five days so it can continue talks with activist investor Carl Icahn about adding his nominees to its board.

Herbalife said Thursday that it needs time for talks with the activist investor about its board composition, and as a result will move its meeting in Los Angeles to April 29 from April 24.

Icahn is Herbalife's largest shareholder with an almost 17 percent stake, according to FactSet.

The talks with Icahn come as the company defends itself against attacks led by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who has a $1 billion short position in Herbalife's stock. Ackman hopes to profit from a drop in the company's stock and says he believes that Herbalife is operating as a pyramid scheme, implying the company makes most of its money by recruiting new sales people rather than from selling its products.

Herbalife has repeatedly denied the claims but on Wednesday it said that it is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for possible deceptive practices.

Icahn has sided with Herbalife, taking his battle against Ackman public and increasing his stake in the company.

Shares of Herbalife, which fell more than 5 percent in regular trading Thursday, rose 48 cents to $57.79 in after-hours trading following the announcement.